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Full text of "Flora Indica Vol-I"

8                                            FLORA  INDICA.
work up those Natural Orders with which they are most fa-
miliar, the Flora ludica, when completed, -will probably con-
sist of a series of monographs. In the commencement now
offered to the public, we have arranged the principal Natural
Orders iu the mode of sequence usually adopted in systematic
works, altering the places of a few of the smaller ones, whoso
botanical affinities we conceive to have been misunderstood
We consider it important that the Flora Indica should em-
brace as wide an area as possible, as we arc firmly convinced
that no species can be properly defined, until it has been ex-
amined in all the variations induced by those differences iu
climate, locality, and soil, which an extensive area alone af-
fords. As also the flora of an area cannot be worked out
without a knowledge of the botany of the countries surromul-
ing it (with which it has many plants in common), it follows
that the greater the area mbraccd, the more fully yrill it il-
lustrate the habits, forms, and variations, of the species corn-
prised within it. For this reason we have extended the limit*;
of our Flora from Persia to the Chinese dominions.
II, General considerations connected with the study of
Systematic Botany,
It may seem almost chimerical to look forward to a time
when all the species of the vegetable world shall have been
classified upon philosophical principles, and accurately tie-
fined ; and it must be confessed that the present state of de-
scriptive botany does not hold out much prospect of the reali-
zation of so very desirable an object. This, we thktk, i» in a
great measure due, not to any want of students willing and
anxious to take up the subject, bat rather to a gradutUy in-
creasing misapprehension of the true aim and paramount im-
portance of systematic botany, and of the proper mode of
pursuing the study of the laws that govern the affinities of
plants. We. are therefore desirousy at the outset of a work
which is devoted to these subjects, of explaining our view on